Goapele (born Goapele Mohlabane on 11th July 1977 in Oakland, California) is a U.S. soul and R&B singer-songwriter. Her name means "to go forward" in the South African language Sesotho. She was born to a Jewish mother, Noa, and an African father, Douglas Mohlabane, who was a South African political exile. They married in Nairobi, Kenya. Goapele attended the Berkeley Arts Magnet School in Berkeley, California. During these years, she joined several groups that fought racism and sexism. She also sang in the Oakland Youth Choir and joined a group called Vocal Motion.